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Monday, 31 May 2010
Page: 4698

Mr ZAPPIA (6:41 PM) —Earlier this month, as part of National Volunteer Week, I hosted a morning tea and provided certificates of appreciation to some of the volunteers in the Makin electorate. One of the sectors that I acknowledged on the morning was those people who volunteer their time to serve on local school councils. Outside the school communities they serve, and sometimes even from within the school communities, these people receive little recognition for their efforts. Schools today are under enormous pressure to meet budgetary constraints while simultaneously providing students with the best educational outcomes and best student services possible. We also expect schools not only to educate children but to care for and help raise them.

School council members play a crucial role in the provision of services at schools. Not only are they there to provide feedback and advice to the principal on a range of relevant school issues, but they are always first to roll up their sleeves and participate in working bees; work in school canteens; help organise sports events and community open days; monitor road crossings; and transport children to and from school outings, sports events and the like—the list goes on, and I could use many other examples.

As a regular visitor to schools in my electorate, I see for myself the immense contribution that school council members make in ensuring that children get the best possible experience in school life and the best possible education outcomes. This government has made lifting the education standards of the nation a priority policy area of government. The delivery of additional resources and implementation of government policies will be enhanced because of the added value in every school from school council members and school volunteers. (Time expired)